6 Reasons why your email efforts aren’t working

Email marketing is one of the best ways for organizations to communicate with their clients and prospects. It can be used to drive traffic to your website, share promotions, elicit feedback and share stories about your brand – the possibilities are endless. So why are your results nowhere near what you thought they’d be?

Here are a few reasons why your emails may not be working:

You are sending too many. A lot of marketers are guilty of this. We need to meet a target, promote a deal, or share some news. The result: our customers feel bombarded, which results in lower engagement and increased unsubscribes. Remember, your audience is receiving tons of messages each day, be selective in what you communicate via email.

Your emails are not on strategy. This is one is especially relevant for those who send out emails on behalf of their clients and senior management. They need to make an announcement or sell more units, so they ask you to send out an email that doesn’t fit in with the overall strategy. Re-evaluate your efforts and look at alternative options. If email is the right choice, make sure your messaging is engaging and that it complements your strategy.

Your customers are not using email as much. Audience preferences are changing as new mediums are introduced. Do a little research on your target market: Are they using emails? Perhaps they prefer social media? Which networks are they on? Maybe they even like to receive offers in the mail? Knowing your customer and how they like to communicate is important. Segmentation is a crucial part of your strategy, as not all of your customers and prospects use the same tools.

Your subject lines are weak. A subject line must entice your audience and give them a reason to open your email. Keep it short and sweet, use action verbs, give them a taste of what they will get in your email and create a sense of urgency. Check out these tips to help you write subject lines that get clicks.

Your content needs work. If your content does not add value to customers, your email efforts will fall flat. Interesting, well-crafted content is what will engage your customer and keep them coming back for more. Weave photos, success stories and tips into your emails. If you have a blog, use snippets from it to provide a variety of interesting content.

Your design isn’t helping you. Even if you have all the other elements, a poorly designed email will prevent your customers from reading it and taking action. When your customers click on the email, it needs to be readable, clean and responsive on different devices. This is crucial in order to get your message across.

There is no doubt that email is a great way to reach your audiences. When used effectively, as part of a larger strategy, it can engage your customers, drive traffic to your website, increase sales and ultimately grow your business.

 

6 Questions to help your clients think more strategically

We’ve all been subject to last-minute, one-off asks that don’t link back to specific 6e000ec02c7c93eef58146bcb1c63682.jpgobjectives and an overarching strategy. Clients get anxious that they are not meeting a target and decide that ‘something needs to go out’. Maybe they’re right; but whether that something is a news release, video, social media post or other tactic, it should definitely fit into the bigger picture. That’s where you come in.

Here are a few questions to spark strategic thinking:

(1) What are your objectives?

This may seem very basic, but it’s the most important thing. Ask your client what they are trying to achieve with this particular communication. Maybe they need a spike in sales before a particular deadline, or to sell out an event. Whatever the purpose, make sure it links back to your overall objectives.

(2) Why now?

Two weeks ago, after the ‘Brangelina’ breakup made headlines, Norwegian airlines came out with an ad that read ‘Brad is Single’, suggesting that customers hop on a flight to L.A to pursue Brad Pitt. Though some found the ad to be opportunistic and insensitive, others thought it was brilliant and funny. One thing is for sure – it was timely, and therefore got a lot of attention.

(3) How does it fit into the bigger picture?

This question stems from your objectives. If your client wants to send yet another email to all his/her prospects, you have to ask, how does this fit into the overall strategy? Will it lead to desired results, or will it just annoy people?

 (4) What is the key message and what does it say about your organization?

Whatever the tactic, your key message should integrate well with your brand’s identity. Every decision you make builds your customers’ perceptions, so if even you’re making one that’s not planned, its message should appear intentional and seamless.

(5) Is this the best way to achieve the desired result?

Make sure you consider all the alternatives. Will this move have the most impact? What are the costs and benefits?  If you and your client have asked all the questions and believe you need to take a leap, then you should. Now more than ever, quick thinking and off the cuff strategies are part of the communications game.

(6) How will you measure it?

Make sure your efforts are measurable and insist on evaluating the impact to see if it was worthwhile, how it could be improved and what could be done differently next time around.

One-offs happen and can sometimes be effective and crucial. However, a string of them can turn into decisions that don’t necessarily fit together or enhance your brand. Asking the right questions can help your client think strategically and make decisions that will work for them now and in the long run.